Where's the IT angle? Part Two
George III's management analyst speaks etc.
Yesterday, we published the Revocation of US Independence, doing the email rounds in Blighty, and asked if anyone knew the author? We've had plenty of spottings on alt.humour and alt.english newsgroups, but no name yet (although we do have an email address -firstname.lastname@example.org - for maybe the first poster).
It is clear that the version currently doing the rounds has had several alterations from the 'original'.
Also we've received two variations on the Independence theme. First, some advice to Thomas Jefferson from George III's management consultant, forwarded to us by reader Orjan Westin and posted originally on alt.alt.fan.pratchett a year or so ago, by someone called Axel Kielhorn.
Second, we have an American riposte to our original article - sent in by Justin Bischel.
And yes, we acknowledge all copyrights etc. etc.
Belated breaking news
It's 9 May 2005 and we've just received news that the original piece is by one Ed Schwartz who heads the Institute for the Study of Civic Values in Philadelphia at http://www.iscv.org.
Readers can find the full, unexpurgated version here. Ed admits that "it appears to have developed a life of its own since I posted it to an email list of mine a few years ago". It does indeed.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident". Declaration of Independence that would be. But I believe it begins a little earlier than that. "When in the course of human events..."
To which he got the following reply:
King George III's Response to The Declaration Of Independence
The Court of King George III London, England
July 10, 1776
Mr. Thomas Jefferson
c/o The Continental Congress
Dear Mr. Jefferson:
We have read your "Declaration of Independence" with great interest. Certainly, it represents a considerable undertaking, and many of your
statements do merit serious consideration.
Unfortunately, the Declaration as a whole fails to meet recently adopted specifications for proposals to the Crown, so we must return the document to you for
The questions which follow might assist you in the process of revision:
1. In your opening paragraph you use the phrase the "Laws of Nature and Nature's God." What are these laws? In what way are they the criteria on which you base your central arguments? Please document with
citations from the recent literature.
2. In the same paragraph you refer to the "opinions of mankind."
Whose polling data are you using? Without specific evidence, it seems to us the "opinions of mankind" are a matter of opinion.
3. You hold certain truths to be "self-evident". Please elaborate.
If they are as evident as you claim then it should not be difficult for you to locate the appropriate supporting statistics.
4. "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" seem to be the goals of your proposal. These are not measurable goals. If you were to say that among these is the ability to sustain an average life expectancy in six of the 13 colonies of at last 55 years, and to enable newspapers in the colonies to print news without outside interference, and to raise the average income of the colonists by 10 percent in the
next 10 years, these would be measurable goals. Please clarify.
5. You state that "Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government...." Have you weighed this assertion against the possible alternatives?
6. Your description of the existing situation is quite extensive. Such a long list of grievances should precede the statement of goals, not follow it. Your problem statement needs improvement.
7. Your strategy for achieving your goal is not developed at all. You state that the colonies ought to be Free and Independent States, and that they are "Absolved from All Allegiance to the British Crown."
Who or what must change to achieve this objective? In what way must they change? What specific steps will you take to overcome the resistance? How long will it take? We have found that a little foresight in these areas helps to prevent careless errors later on. How
cost-effective are your strategies?
8. Who among the list of signatories will be responsible for implementing your strategy? Who conceived it? Who provided the theoretical research? Who will constitute the advisory committee? Please submit an organizational chart and vitae of the principal investigators.
9. You must include an evaluation design. We have been requiring this since Queen Anne's War.
10. What impact will your program have? Your failure to include any assessment of this inspires little confidence in the long-range prospects of your undertaking.
11. Please submit a PERT diagram, an activity chart, itemized budget, and manpower utilization matrix.
We hope the above comments will be of use to you, and welcome the re-submission of your revised Declaration of Independence. The due date for unsolicited proposals is July 31, 1776. Ten copies with original
signatures will be required.
Management Analyst to His Majesty George R III
Document of Annexation
Upon inspection of the latest poll counts in the recent election, it has been discovered that a plurality of British citizens have voted to become the 51st state of the USA.
President-elect Gore has therefore put forth these guidelines to facilitate the assimilation of the British Islands into the new state of Clinton (after all, the New England states are unhappy about sharing the name England with anyone, even the Old England).
1. Effective immediately, 50,000 surgeons will be dispatched to fix a widespread congenital disorder preventing the correct pronunciation of words in this area. In addition, every new citizen will be required to use a decongestant twice daily and practice speaking without their noses stuffed up.
2. The confusion between the letters c and s will no longer be tolerated. Get used to spelling defense correctly.
3. North Ireland will be given back to Ireland immediately, thus ending the conflict. Dissenting citizens will be relocated to Utah, so they can feel right at home. Violent dissenting citizens will be sent to Arizona and Texas, where they will speedily be dealt with.
4. The term English will no longer be used. American will be substituted on an interim basis only. Soon enough, it will be the only language spoken, and a name for it will no longer be necessary.
5. Cricket will no longer be a sport, you will have to learn how to play baseball instead.
6. All English-made cars will be scrapped and replaced with American cars. This will create enough general goodwill and happiness to tide you over until you learn to drive on the right side of the street.
7. Give your taste buds a break and drink cold fresh beer for a change.
8. The 'chip' is no more, long live the French fry!
9. Bill Clinton will be your new governor (thanks for voting him in), so have an ample supply of willing discreet interns available. He seems to have exhausted the supply over here.
10. The Crown is hereby abolished, but the new governor wishes to thank the former tenants for keeping his residence in good condition.
A large and capable legal team is currently putting together the rest of the interim guidelines, they will be available soon.
That's all for now! ®